Make Your Older Home Comfortable with a Ductless Air Conditioner

If you live in an older home, you may be dreading the coming warm months. It can get hot and stuffy in your house very quickly without proper ventilation, and even with the windows open, it may be too hot to feel any relief. As an alternative to a traditional central air conditioner, which may not even be possible in your home, it may be time to consider a ductless air conditioner. These popular alternatives involve less intrusive installation, are quiet and energy-efficient, and blend nicely with your chosen room.


What is a Ductless Air Conditioner?

Ductless air conditioners, also known as mini-splits, are versatile air conditioners that require no ducting throughout your home, making them ideal for older houses. In short, a ductless air conditioner includes one outdoor unit and one indoor unit that is typically mounted on the wall. This is known as a single-zone system. Some systems, known as multi-zone systems, can connect to multiple indoor units from one outdoor unit. The units are connected via a hole in the wall, refrigerant tubing, and electrical wiring.

Once installed, ductless air conditioners work similarly to a typical central air conditioning system. It removes warm air from the space and will return recycled cold air. However, while a central HVAC system delivers cold air to the entire home through the ductwork, a ductless air conditioner will only blow cold air into your chosen living spaces.


Advantages of a Ductless Air Conditioner

The most significant advantage to a ductless air conditioner for an older home is right in the name – they don’t require ductwork! Most older homes don’t have ductwork, which can be expensive and complicated to install. Ductless air conditioners remove that need by requiring only a small hole to be drilled into the wall, making them less vulnerable to air leakage and other problems.

Ductless air conditioners are also extremely energy efficient. By removing the ductwork, you won’t lose as much energy and be left with a more efficient system that will save you money compared to a central HVAC system. Additionally, ductless air conditioners have inverter-driven compressors, which will speed up and slow down instead of shutting off entirely. Central air conditioners consume a lot of energy during compressor start-up, so removing that need will help save energy and money.

Ductless air conditioners are quiet and filter the air to provide cleaner air and lower humidity for the space in which it is installed. This means that ductless air conditioners may be especially useful for people with seasonal allergies that get worse in the warm months.

Finally, ductless air conditioners are well suited for houses where you don’t necessarily need air conditioning in every room. You may find that some rooms are used more than others, and the unused rooms don’t require air conditioning in the summer. That’s where ductless air conditioners really shine – they can be placed exactly where you need them so that only the spaces you want are cooled.


Disadvantages of a Ductless Air Conditioner

Like anything else, a ductless air conditioner isn’t perfect. While it is less intrusive and saves money on energy bills, there are a couple of points against it compared to a window unit.

The main one is the upfront expense. Ductless air conditioners do cost significantly more than comparable window units. You will get payback in the way of lower energy bills, but the period will depend on the climate and your use of the system. In cold climates such as Canada, you will want to be careful that the extreme temperatures do not damage the coils in your outdoor unit. There are, however, ways to prevent this, which your installation team can teach you.

Ductless air conditioners require more maintenance than a central air conditioning system. The filters need to be cleaned of dust and debris monthly, while central air conditioning does not need as consistent maintenance.

Lastly, ductless air conditioners are usually only available in white or beige, so they may look out of place depending on their location. However, most ductless air conditioners blend in inconspicuously. Also, keep in mind that large rooms may require a second indoor unit to address the room’s cooling needs adequately.


There are so many benefits of purchasing a ductless air conditioner, and with summer coming up, now is the perfect time to look into a system for your older home, converted attic, or add-on room. Napoleon’s NC19 series will meet all your cooling needs without the need for ductwork. Visit our dealer locater page to find a dealer near you.

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